7/28/2013 1:00 P.M. ET
LoMo getting re-acclimated to playing every day
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
MIAMI -- Producing on a consistent basis is difficult when you've missed prolonged periods of playing time.
Logan Morrison is becoming well aware of this fact.
A pair of right-knee surgeries have caused Morrison to miss substantial time since 2011.
"I think when you have a lot of layoffs, it comes and goes," the Marlins first baseman said. "You've got to find it again. It takes a while to find it."
The left-handed-hitting Morrison is a big part of the Marlins' lineup. He's being counted on as a middle-of-the-order presence, batting either cleanup or fifth.
After undergoing right knee surgery last September, Morrison opened the season on the 60-day disabled list, and he joined the lineup on June 9. After going 3-for-4 in Saturday's 7-4 loss to the Pirates, he raised his batting average to .270.
Initially, Morrison banged up his right knee on Sept. 9, 2011, when he crashed into the wall in foul territory in Pittsburgh. At the time, he was playing left field, and he smacked his kneecap into the side wall.
His first surgery came in December 2011.
"Playing every day again, your body goes through an adjustment," Morrison said. "Also, your mind goes through an adjustment. You don't want your mind to trick your body into something it doesn't need to do."
Morrison made his MLB debut on July 27, 2010. He played a stretch of 172 games from July 27, 2010 to Sept. 9, 2011. In that span, he batted .263 with a .354 on-base percentage, and he hit 21 home runs with 85 RBIs.
Since his initial injury in 2011, he has played in 137 games and is batting .237 (106-for-448) with 19 home runs and 54 RBIs.
The Marlins are banking on Morrison to provide protection for Giancarlo Stanton. Saturday was an encouraging night, because he and Stanton each had three hits.
It's just a matter of performing at a consistent level. Right now, Morrison is going through the process of playing on a daily basis.
"I think it's mechanical for me," Morrison said. "It's definitely not mental. I feel like I'm still having good ABs. I'm just not having results. I'm driving balls to the center-field wall, and they're just not going out. I'm getting walks."
With Slowey on DL, Ames gets first MLB chance
MIAMI -- A month ago, Steven Ames was working his way toward making his big league debut with the Dodgers. Now, he is getting that opportunity with the Marlins.
The 25-year-old was recalled by Miami on Sunday morning from Triple-A New Orleans. He fills the roster vacancy created when right-hander Kevin Slowey was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a right forearm strain.
The veteran Slowey felt discomfort while warming up in the third inning on Saturday night during the Marlins' 7-4 loss to the Pirates.
Slowey is getting an MRI exam on Monday to determine the severity of the injury. He said he has been pitching through some soreness, but it reached the point where he couldn't go on Saturday.
"Our training staff has been great," Slowey said. "They said, 'When you feel like you can't compete, that's when you need to say something.'
"When I was warming up, I just realized, this is not something I can get through. I wasn't getting loose."
Ames was one of three pitching prospects the Marlins acquired from the Dodgers on July 6 for Ricky Nolasco. Like manager Mike Redmond, Ames attended Gonzaga. The right-hander was the 17th-round pick of the Dodgers in 2009, and he opened the season at Triple-A Albuquerque.
Since joining New Orleans, Ames made five relief appearances, and he didn't allow a run in seven innings, while striking out five with one walk.
Ames was with the Zephyrs on Saturday at Albuquerque when he was called into the dugout. New Orleans manager Ron Hassey played a joke on Ames, telling him he was being sent to Double-A.
As Ames turned to walk away, Hassey broke the good news. "You're going to the big leagues."
The reliever took a red-eye flight out of Albuquerque and arrived in Miami at about 10:30 a.m. ET.
"I was really excited," Ames said. "It was crazy."
Before being dealt to Miami, Ames made 30 relief appearances for Triple-A Albuquerque, and he was 2-2 with a 3.67 ERA. He logged eight saves.
During the 2010 offseason, Ames actually met Redmond a couple of times at the Gonzaga campus. Redmond, still playing in the big leagues, was hitting in the cages.
"[Redmond's] picture is up there in the locker room," Ames said. "We have his jersey up there from when he won the World Series with the Marlins."
Hechavarria makes Gold Glove case on daily basis
MIAMI -- Adeiny Hechavarria has a knack for making the difficult plays seem routine.
On Saturday night, the 24-year-old shortstop showed why the Marlins feel he has the makings of being a future Gold Glove Award winner.
Hechavarria made a sensational diving catch in the seventh inning, robbing Gaby Sanchez. And to cap the night, the shortstop completed a nifty, sliding play on Jose Tabata's sharp grounder for an out in the ninth.
"For me, I think he's the best defensive shortstop I've seen this year," Marlins third-base coach Joe Espada said. "His first step is so good. He makes hard plays seem routine. We're getting a look of what a shortstop is supposed to look like."
After Saturday's 7-4 loss to the Pirates, Marlins manager Mike Redmond said he wished Hechavarria would receive more recognition.
"I just wish more people knew about him," Redmond said. "He deserves a lot more credit than he gets."
The industry has taken notice.
A National League scout who has closely followed the Marlins noted: "Hechavarria is the best defensive player I've seen this year, hands down. At any position."
Marlins right-hander Tom Koehler says Hechavarria's defense allows pitchers to attack more with confidence the defense will make plays behind them.
"It's incredible," Koehler said. "You almost become shocked now when a ball goes through. He's that good over there, that it allows you to just attack and say, 'Hey, hit one to the middle of the field.'
"You feel confident that anything hit up the middle or on the ground, he's going to come up with. That guy is playing better defense than probably anybody in the National League. It's tremendous."